Home / National News / Teen Caught in Rip Current: 'I Thought I Was Going to Die'


(GRAND RAPIDS, MI.) — A 13-year old girl said she thought she would die when she found herself caught in an apparent rip tide in Lake Michigan.

“It was like someone had a rope around my waist. It was like someone was pulling me,” Jozalin Francis told ABC affiliate WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jozalin, 13, and her 14-year old friend went to the beach in Grand Haven, about 15 miles from Muskegon, on Thursday. Jozalin’s father, James Woonacott, texted her to tell her not to go swimming, but she went in anyway, Woonacott told ABC News.

“The waves just kept on taking us out farther and farther,” Jozalin told ABC News today. “We were screaming ‘help,’ but we got further apart.”

Jozalin and her friend were then swept away in an apparent rip tide.

“I was crying. I thought I was going to die at that moment,” Jozalin told WZZM-TV.

Surfer Zeb Boeskool then pulled Jozalin to safety, according to WZZM-TV. Another swimmer rescued Jozalin’s friend.

But Jozalin told ABC News today she doesn’t remember the rescue. So when Jozalin met Boeskool at the hospital Friday, she finally got to thank him.

Meeting him “was amazing,” Jozalin told ABC News.

“They said if I was out there for a minute longer, I wouldn’t be here today,” she told WZZM-TV.

Both girls have since been released from the hospital, Woonacott told ABC News today.

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